In a survey of over 1000 people over 18, they found that those over 65 are the least likely to lie about their age. People also report becoming increasingly optomistic as they age, with those 50-64 being the most optomistic of any age group. With 10,000 people turning 65 every day and a majority of them will live close to 90, this is important information.
Changing values may contribute to a happier attitude. Given a list of lifetime achievements those 18 to 34 ranked having $1 million ranked first, while those over 65 would rather see their grandchild graduate.
Those who feel aging is better than they expected cite good health (74%), wisdom (72%), and greater appreciation for friends and family (72%) as their top reasons.
Only 25 percent of those over 65 would want to live with a younger relative if they could no longer care for themselves, despite the fact that 51 percent of those 18 to 65 would accept having a parent live with them
The survey also brings to light the concern that after 65, few people were afraid of dying (7%) compared to concerns about losing independence or living with pain or physical limitations (64%)
“Everyone brings a different perspective to the aging process. For many who face enormous health challenges, aging can be a source of dread,” said Andy Carter, President and CEO of the Visiting Nurse Associations of America. “For others who are healthier or managing chronic conditions effectively, it is a positive experience. At the VNAA, we recognize the importance of engaging in this conversation as a way to shape our future programs and services to best serve the needs of all aging Americans.”
Experts say these findings are not surprising. Many adults spend more years in good health, says Nancy Perry Graham, editor-in-chief of AARP The Magazine. People also enjoy more freedom as they age and stop having to prove themselves at work or in relationships, Graham says.
Linda Fried of the International Longevity Center at Columbia University says it’s crucial that people deal with the realities of aging, not just the downsides. “We have such a human aversion to getting old; it’s associated with death, and death is scary. But as a society, we have not had the conversations we need to have. There’s huge opportunities there.”
“We all have one thing in common — each day we get older. At every age and stage of our lives, we can make choices and take actions that will help us live longer and better. There are so many positive role models today who are changing how people think about aging,” said Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall, Pfizer’s Chief Medical Officer.
Photo Credit: Yuri Arcurs/Shutterstock.com
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